Being an expat means that more often than not a large chunk of your (husbands) annual leave is spent going back and forth to the UK. Weddings. Family gatherings. Christenings. Hen do. Stag do. Escaping the summer heat. We fly back and forth at least once a year, though in all probability it’s more like twice a year.
It eats up my husbands holiday allowance, and much as I love my mum, spending our holiday in my childhood bedroom complete with travel cot, isn’t really my idea of a family holiday. (But Mum if you’re reading I do love coming home to stay and being looked after!)
2016 is going to be the year of the Staycation; UK Style, this year I am pushing to go visting Liverpool which is where our story began. Two young graduates, not from Liverpool, working in an iconic building on Dale Street, eyes meeting across a crowded office….love at first sight it was not. But we got there. A slow burn if you like. Finding out that not only did we both go to the University of Manchester, but we were there at the same time, living in the same halls, with our paths not crossing until we both moved to Liverpool.
Liverpool was the start of our story, and I would love to take the boys up to see the city where it all began.
To walk along Dale Street where we worked opposite the Town Hall, down Water Street to the Pierhead. Slipping past pubs of after work drinks, like Thomas Rigby’s home of the best BIG chips I have ever eaten. Meandering down to see the Liver Building with the iconic Liver bird looking out over the water keeping the sailors safe, with the other looking out over the city keeping the city safe.
And what else would we do at Pierhead other than get the Ferry ‘cross the Mersey? I was born and bred Birkenhead, which is “over the water”, before we moved away with my Dad’s job. Our whole family is still over on the Wirral, at various points across the Peninsular, so we could wave from the cruise tour before heading back to Liverpool. And of course there is the song.
We mustn’t forget the song. I know I never will after having my Dad, my Grandad, my Uncles, my Aunty’s singing it at me. All my Dad’s family. Crazy people!
Once back in Liverpool, I’d head up to Liverpool ONE to grab a milkshake from Sblended – Fruit Salad flavour – just like we used to. Besides, the Big One loves ice cream and milkshakes, and I’m sure by that point he would need a little bribe pick me up. Although there are loads of dining options in Liverpool ONE, I’d continue with the walk down memory lane walking us up North John Street to visit La Vina. Often frequented with the girls from work, sharing a glass of wine (or 3) learning that though the concept of tapas is sharing plates that, much like Joey from Friends, Jingles (the fierce fabulous one I may have mentioned once or twice) doesn’t share food. Unless you specify and bargain up front. 6 Potato Bravas for 1 Gambas Pil for example.
There’s also the scene of our first meal, Spice City, a curry house that has set the standard for all curries in our house. We are yet to find one that competes to the heady heights of new romance in the air and delicious chicken Korma. Or for the husband, Tikka Masala, we’re creatures of habit.
Once our tummies are full it would be on with the rest of our stay. And while there are loads of fantastic tourist attractions like the Duck Bus, which I think the Big One would love. Or be utterly terrified when it goes in the water – it’s a fine line. The iconic Beatles Story and walk down Mathew Street to the Cavern where it all began.
We’d opt for something completely different, because while it’s nice to be a tourist, being an expat even when on staycation is about seeing the people you’ve left behind. So for us, no trip to Liverpool would be complete without seeing our friends, the girls that made my work days fun, that made nights out more drunken, that made the transition from work friend to real friend – Jingles and Smithboobies – and now their subsequent offspring. The Dale Street Babies. All four (and a bump) of them.
That’s what makes Liverpool my favourite staycation destination. That’s what makes Liverpool my #TravelodgeTopTowns. That’s why I’m pushing for us to go visiting Liverpool in 2016.
Where would your staycation be?
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